Friday, April 3, 2015

April Inspirational Almanac (NaPoWriMo 2015)

Welcome to the April Inspirational Almanac.  Regular postings of the Almanac will go up during the first week of every month. 

Since April is National Poetry-Writing Month, the April Almanac is going to be geared more toward the goal of writing 30 poems (or flash fiction, or prose, journal entries, an art medium...whatever genre you enjoy creating with) for the duration of a 30 day period.  The wonderful thing about the Almanac is that you can save the prompts and revisit, especially if you are already partaking in the NaPoWriMo elsewhere (like I actually am!).  Or, like myself, maybe you know of various sites that are partaking in NaPoWriMo and you're just picking and choosing from each one.   

The challenges this month are like most prompts  I share:  strictly for your personal enjoyment and creative exploration.  Though if you do write with them on your blog, we'd appreciate a link-back so other's can find the goodies too.  You can use this set of prompts for any month.  I may just use them for May.  Perhaps you will too!

I have designed each of these prompts with simplicity in mind.  Since writing every single day for thirty days in a row will eventually become tiresome (for many of us), I have created prompts that I feel are simple to write with and easy to understand.  So sit back, take a prompt a day, and relax into your Muse.

And, since the Monthly Almanac is all about keeping you inspired and motivated, I have made sure to include a few important elements from the usual monthly post.  You'll find the April Affirmation and some other useful, and motivating, elements below.  

Here's to hoping we all have a successful month of writing!
Happy April, keep your pens moving!

April Affirmation
I am going to create some amazing work this month!

I will try my hardest to sit down everyday and write.

Gift to My Muse
I will allow myself at least 30 minutes a day, every day this month, for the NaPoWriMo writing challenge.  I may even buy a new notebook or create a special blog especially for this feat.  Creativity is an important mainstay in my life and I deserve this time for myself  to enjoy the act of guiltless creating.

Positive Change
This month, as I work through the 30 days of poetry-writing, I refuse to feel guilty for this time to myself.  I will embrace my time alone.  I will make time for myself a priority.  I will make my creative endeavors an important part of my everyday life.  These thirty days are the beginning of a wonderful habit.

I Need to Remind Myself to...
Not be so hard on myself if I fall short of expectations.  Perhaps some days I will struggle with my creative flow.  Other days life responsibilities may get in the way.  Instead, I simply aim to try my best to write/create every single day for 30 days.  But at the end of April, I want to look back at my work with a feeling of accomplishment for what I have created rather than a feeling of disappointment for the few days I may have missed the mark.

The 30 Day Poetry-Writing Challenge

Day #1
Look Over Your Shoulder
Write about the past.  A memory, an old flame, an old school, old long as it happened before today, anything goes!

Day #2
Love Should Be a Crime
Tell about a time in your life when loving someone left you feeling cheated.  What did you lose?
How did it happen?  Be vivid in your descriptions!

Day #3
My Grandmothers' Kitchen
Write a poem about your grandmother's kitchen.  It may have been a long time since you've seen it (if you can't remember, or for some reason never actually saw your grandmothers kitchen, then use your imagination!).  Perhaps you were just there last weekend, how did it look? What did you do?  Describe the kitchen, the furnishings, the belongings....allow those descriptions to tell a story.

Day #4
A Van Gogh Point of View
Describe where you live at night.  What's it like?  What noises do you hear?  What's the sky like, clear or marred by smog?  Perhaps you can talk about the nightlife, or sitting alone outside at night.  Paint this poem with words, SHOW rather than TELL.

Day #5
A Culinary Delight
This poem should be about food.  Cooking a romantic meal.  Eating at a ritzy restaurant.  A diet, a family dinner.  As long as food is included, we're good!

Day #6
I'm Late, I'm Late!
Write about something that it's simply too late for.  What chance has passed you by?  Or maybe write about a time you've been late for something important.  What happened?

Day #7
It's All About Affection
Write a romantic poem about an affectionate encounter.  Perhaps a first kiss, the first time holding hands, or a really amazing date.   Make it sultry, if you dare!

Day #8
The Sea Speaks
This poem should be about the sea.  Think in terms of the ocean, the shore, footsteps in the sand.  Have you ever stood beside the ocean, what did it have to say?  If the sea had a voice, how would it sound?  Or you can simply write a message to the sea.

Day #9
Coffee Shop Talk
Write a poem about a coffee shop.  Describe some interesting patrons.  Include your favorite coffee drink.  Throw in the name of a famous poet.

Day #10
What I Really Meant to Say Was
In this poem, you will explore a misunderstanding between yourself and another person.  This is your chance to explain your point of view, to say what you really needed to say.  Perhaps achieve some closure.

Day #11
Friend or Foe
Write about a favorite childhood friend.  Maybe you're still best friends or perhaps you've drifted apart over the years.  What was special about this particular person?  What's your favorite memory of the time you spent together?  Did this person teach you anything, in particular?

Day #12
Writing With Plath
Sylvia Plath's poetry has been deemed as neurotic, daring, observant, controversial and vivid.  Write a poem that you feel would be described this way when read by another person.

Day #13
A Love Note to Myself
In this poem, you're going to celebrate yourself!  Write about all the great things about you.  Describe what makes you unique.  Maybe even thank yourself.  Be proud of who you are and share that with your words.

Day #14
The Grand Finale
Write about finality.  The end of something.  This could be a death, a goodbye, or simply the end of an era.  Whatever you write about, it must include an ending.

Day #15
Tabloid Fever
Take a headline from a Tabloid magazine and use it as the title of your poem.  Write your poem while keeping to the theme of the headline.  If there's no Tabloid nearby, use an article from a news website or a newspaper.

Day #16
First Lines are Fun
Your poem must begin with this exact line:  There's something misleading about clocks

Day #17
Frantically Searching
This poem should be about something in your life for which you seem to always be looking for.  Is it love?  Perhaps happiness?  Maybe just the perfect words to write?  Think hard about the things in life you most look for, then write about them.

Day #18
Personifying the Muse
Give your muse a personality, an identity.  Is she an old, wise woman?  A fairy that sprinkles creative dust?  Describe who your muse is to you, make him/her interesting!

Day #19
This One's For You
Today is a free day.  Write about anything you wish.  So long as it's a poem, anything goes!

Day #20
Paying Homage
Pick one literary great whom has inspired you somewhere along the way.  Perhaps it was the first author you ever read, or the first poet who ever really brought you to your muse.  Whomever it may be, write a poem of thanks to them (or write about the greatness of their work).

Day #21
Fill in the Blank
Simple as it says!  Fill in the blank with this line and place it somewhere within your poem.  Usually I use fill-in-the-blanks as first lines, but you can place them where you wish.   Here's your line:
______ was never as easy as ______.

Day #22
Guide Me Home
Write a poem about home.  What does home mean to you?  Is it an actual brick and mortar building?  Is it merely a feeling?  Is is a special place that lives inside your memories?

Day #23
Three Times Three
This poem isn't as confusing as it sounds, we're just writing with threes.  Write a poem that has three stanzas.  It must also include these three words somewhere:  esoteric, gradient, miasma.   And it must speak of these three themes:  hope, creativity, achievement.  And the last rule:  it must include the word three somewhere.

Day #24
The Alter Ego
Create an identity completely opposite of your own.  Perhaps this could be your evil twin.  Describe this person/identity with great detail.  Write about how this person spends their days, where they work at, their hobbies and their love interests.  Make him/her come alive!

Day #25
A Dream Within a Dream
This poem will be about a dream.  You can take either point of view: 1) An actual dream that you had or 2) A dream as in, an aspiration that you have.  Describe this dream vividly.

Day #26
The Fabrication
In this poem, you're going to tell a lie.  Make up a story about something that didn't happen.  Twist an event to your favor.  Or say you're feeling (or felt) something you don't (or didn't).  You could even lie about an event in history.

Day #27
The Confessional Poem
Today you're going to write a confessional poem.  Confessional poems are truthful, gritty, daring.  They write from the self.  They speak of emotions (ill-gotten or otherwise), they tell a story, or give a snippet of your real life.  They are bold and brazen.  They are real.

Day #28
Hit the Fast-Forward Button
You're going to set this poem five years ahead.  So, think, five years from now (2020).  Write about something that happens in the future.  Maybe you get married (or divorced?).  Or you graduate from college.  Perhaps you meet your true love or you have your first child.  You can get really crazy with this and write about how the moon fell from the sky one night.

Day #29
Confess Something
This poem is nothing like the Confessional Poem from Day #27.  In this poem, you're actually going to make a confession.  Tell a secret, tell the truth, be honest with yourself (or someone else).  You've been holding this in for too it's time to let it out!

Day #30
I Get So Emotional
If you've made it through these past thirty days, you probably are emotional...hopefully you're happy you completed this challenge!  Today you must write a poem that clearly depicts an emotion.  Maybe you want to go all Ani DiFranco and pen an angry feminist poem.  Maybe you're thinking in terms of inspiration and move more towards a hopeful, greeting card write.  The choice is yours!